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Former Sulphur Springs office administrator sentenced to federal prison for theft of government funds

According to court records, Bates obtained the signatures of city officials under false pretenses, then wrote those checks to herself and her husband.

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Ark. — A Gravette woman has been sentenced to federal prison for stealing federal funds.

According to court records, 34-year-old Codi Dannell Bates was sentenced Monday (Jan. 11) to over two and a half years in federal prison without the possibility of parole followed by three years supervised release and ordered to pay $184,934.06 in restitution on one count of Theft from an Agency Receiving Federal Funds. 

Court records state that from 2017 through 2019, while Bates was employed as the Office Administrator for the city of Sulphur Springs, she stole funds from the city in a variety of means. 

According to court records, she obtained the signatures of city officials under false pretenses, then wrote those checks to herself and her husband. She also used cash funds paid to the city for water services to pay for her personal expenses.  

Bates’s criminal conduct was initially uncovered in detail by the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Audit. 

She was arrested on state charges in May of 2019. The investigation was then referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

According to the investigation, Bates converted $184,934.06 from Sulphur Springs for her own personal use during her period of employment from August of 2017 through March of 2019. In 2018, the city of Sulphur Springs received over $180,000 from FEMA alone.  

Bates waived formal Indictment and pled guilty to an Information filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Sept. 18, 2020. 

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